Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
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Federer and Nadal on collision course in Oz open draw

Federer and Nadal on collision course in Oz open draw

One more here would see him follow Jimmy Connors as the only man in the Open era to hit three figures, as well as taking him past Djokovic and Roy Emerson at Melbourne Park.

Defending champion Roger Federer is seeded No. 3 after Rafael Nadal, while women's defending singles champion Caroline Wozniacki, who beat Halep in last year's final at Melbourne Park, is No. 3 behind second-seeded and 2016 champion Angelique Kerber.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray will face Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round of the Australian Open.

Roger Federer's bid for a third successive Australian Open title will begin against world No. 99 Denis Istomin, while top seed Novak Djokovic will face a qualifier in the first round.

Kyle Edmund, back at the scene of his semi-final appearance 12 months ago, was also given a hard opener at the year's first grand slam against former top-10 stalwart Tomas Berdych, who is unseeded following injury.


Serbian Djokovic heads into the tournament as favourite to win a record seventh title and his third Grand Slam in a row, while five-times runner-up Murray, now ranked 230th, will have far lower expectations at the event starting on Monday. But being so close, I'll give it a go.

Murray, who is coming back from a long-term hip injury, won just two games against world No. 1 Djokovic during the practice match, which finished incomplete at 6-1, 4-1 and was played in front of a sizeable crowd at the Margaret Court Arena. If it would happen defending this title, I would gladly accept it.

The American great, beaten by Naomi Osaka in the 2018 U.S. Open final after a fiery tirade against the chair umpire, faces a tough run to the quarterfinals, with top seed and last year's finalist Simona Halep a possible fourth round encounter.

Defending champion Wozniacki, who broke through for her maiden Grand Slam title with victory over Halep in last year's final, is in line to face former victor Maria Sharapova in a mouth-watering third round showdown.

"To finally get that (title) here was so special, it's the happy slam". "I feel like these courts are suited for me, so it's incredible to be back".

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